Biz Views

‘Practical Techie:’ A social media tool that is very visual

Author Rafael Matos is professor of multimedia at a private university and director of the Caribbean Multimedia Center, a nonprofit media lab focusing on closing the digital divide. Questions should be sent to cccrafael@gmail.com. Author Rafael Matos is professor of multimedia at a private university and director of the Caribbean Multimedia Center, a nonprofit media lab focusing on closing the digital divide. Questions should be sent to cccrafael@gmail.com.

One of the newer social media platforms is Pinterest, which lends itself for good business promotion.

As a branding tool, that is.

With Pinterest, the trick for any business website is to use images, instead of catchy headlines, to grab a visitor’s attention. This is good specially for small biz that are into arts and crafts, service products such as commercial photography and, of course, paintings and collectibles. All very visual stuff.

As with all social media, the idea is to convoke, to engage potential customers. The trick again is to do it with potent imagery. This requires you to become a part-time and creative photographer. Not difficult nowadays with those smartphones and apps such as Instagram.

You just need to be alert for any photo opportunity that might shed a good light on your business. Shoot and post it quickly in Pinterest with a link to your pages.

Post an interesting picture and hope that some appreciative cybernaut will click it and continue perusing around your biz website. It can happen much more than you can imagine. Or inversely, put your picture into your site proper and expect someone to share with friends outside Pinterest.

One clever trick is to post in Pinterest human interest pics, put a little story as caption and link the rest of the info back to your site.

Another strategy is to follow Pinterest users that pin items that have a certain connection to your type of business. Pin items of interest to them too in the platform and expect them, in turn, to follow you to your website.

The idea is to create a networking dynamic, since the way Pinterest is designed, the platform itself will send new pins from the people you follow to your main feed. It all sounds complex, but it’s not, once you see it in action.

By now it have a sense of how Pinterest works. Just in case, let’s summarize.

Pinterest_Logo copyWhen you subscribe to Pinterest, you create a “board” and post images to it. Something like the old-fashioned bulletin board, but this one is digital and on the web. Basically, users post identifying information with each picture. This makes the pinned item linkable.

People at your Pinterest board like a scene you posted, they will click and dwell on it, and hopefully link it to their website, share it with a friend, all of which creates a path back to your biz site. After a while, you have a new host of visitors.

Dont.t forget, always post on your own pages any image you post into Pinterest. This way, it will link back to you again when someone clicks on it.

Pinterest is free, too. For now.

The platform does require that you create a business account. It also requires that you use its logo in any linking widget you set up in your site.

Pinterest then provides a page that teaches newbies how to promote their enterprise and also showcases success stories.

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